Yasser Qashlaq, the head of the Free Palestine Movement, announced Thursday that Freedom Flotilla 2 could include up to 50 ships.Qashlaq said that a ship organized by Journalists Without Borders will depart from Lebanon to Gaza within a week. There will be journalists, members of the Free Palestine Movement, and other peace activists aboard the ship.
On Wednesday, organizers of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla announced that a Swiss ship will join the next convoy to Gaza.
On Monday, May 31, Israeli Navy commandos attacked the original Freedom Flotilla while it was sailing to Gaza but still in international waters. The raid killed nine civilian activists and injured 54. Eight Israeli soldiers were wounded in the operation.
The Freedom Flotilla was an effort by a coalition of human rights and humanitarian organizations to nonviolently break through Israel’s blockade and deliver much needed humanitarian and developmental aid to the Palestinians of Gaza.
Almost 700 passengers from 40 different countries joined the flotilla. There were human rights workers, humanitarian aid workers, members of parliament, doctors, nurses, teachers, community leaders, and international journalists on board the ships.
The lead coalition partners included Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH). IHH was the largest coalition partner. It contributing 2 Turkish-flagged cargo ships including the passenger ship the Mavi Marmara and 380 Turkish nationals to the effort. This was IHH’s first attempt to break the Gaza blockade.